With nail salons being closed across the city, I am giving my finger- and toenails some unexpected downtime. I prefer a polished nail — I love a sheer pale neutral, a pop of red or coral, a dark navy — but there is an upside of having bare nails: I am more aware of what my nails might be telling me about my health.
- Concave-dented (think spoon-shaped) nails, technically called Koilonychia, may indicate an iron deficiency or perhaps other health issues, like hypothyroidism.
- Deep horizontal ridges might mean that your body is lacking in the essential mineral zinc.
- White marks can result from a fungal infection or a lack of circulation to the nail bed (especially if your nails are always covered in polish and need to breathe).
- Yellowish nails are usually due to staining from dark polishes.
- Weak, brittle or splitting nails are a sign that you should take biotin and carefully protect your hands by, for instance, using gloves when you wash dishes.
- Thick, discolored nails may be caused by a fungal infection or age.
Have concerns about any of the above? Best to consult your GP. Keen to make the most of this opportunity for nail bareness, breathing and self-healing? Treat yourself to a DIY natural nail manicure!
Items Needed for Self-Manicure
Small Nail Scissors
Angle Nail Stick
Nail Oil Remedy
Hand Healer Lotion
Nine Steps to an Au Naturel Manicure/Pedicure
- Trim hangnails gently and carefully.
- Soften skin by soaking in water.
- Push back cuticles.
- Shape nails with clippers.
- File edges.
- Buff nails using buffing block. Buff the entire surface of the nail.
- Apply a drop of oil. I like to apply tea tree oil, since it is a natural antifungal, to nail beds. Try Nail Oil Remedy — just a drop to the nail bed and smooth over.
- Whiten nail tips with a nail pencil.
- Massage lotion — we recommend just a tiny dab of Hand Healer — onto nails and hands.
How to Ensure Optimum Nail Health
To keep your nails looking their best, eat a diet rich in iron (leafy green veggies, red meat, nuts) and zinc (beans, chickpeas, poultry, cashews, almonds). Make sure to get plenty of foods rich in B vitamins (eggs, fish, sweet potatoes). If your doctor finds that your vitamin levels are low, you might consider supplements.
Keep your hands, nails and cuticles hydrated by drinking plenty of water, applying nail oil and using a moisturizer.
Loving the skin you’re in can do wonders for your mood, your health and how you engage with the world. To get the dirt on how I keep my skin clean, nourished and looking its best, check out Virtue Skinfood.